Charlie's proud to make the fur fly
SUFFOLK anti-fur protester Charlie McKenzie has made national headlines after storming a London fashion catwalk.The 24-year-old student from Ipswich and two other protesters from an anti-animal cruelty group, managed to invade the runway during Welsh designer Julien Macdonald's show as part of London Fashion Week.
SUFFOLK anti-fur protester Charlie McKenzie has made national headlines after storming a London fashion catwalk.
The 24-year-old student from Ipswich and two other protesters from an anti-animal cruelty group, managed to invade the runway during Welsh designer Julien Macdonald's show as part of London Fashion Week.
Miss McKenzie, a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) activist was eventually thrown out of the show by security but not before she caught the attention of the likes of Charlotte Church, singer Pink and DJ Sara Cox, who were there.
Miss McKenzie said today: "It did feel good, but it was more about why I was doing it. Nobody knows what's going on behind the scenes and how the animals are killed."
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The Suffolk College student said she felt elated when she stood on the catwalk chanting anti-fur slogans, and holding up her banner.
"It was more pride in bringing attention to the cause. After decades of leafleting and writing letters, sometimes a polite word doesn't do it.
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"It's just the way animals are treated - killing animals for fur it's a violent bloody industry. Skins are ripped off just for vanity and one of the main ways is by anal electrocution - it must be the most painful way," said Miss McKenzie, of Colchester Road, Ipswich.
"I have always been involved in animal rights, I have been in to it since I was 11. I have been on demonstrations but this is the first time I have ever gone to a fashion show."
Miss McKenzie, who became a Vegan when she was 14, said her actions on Wednesday had already brought results. Many people have approached her since to discuss what she did and why she did it, fulfilling her aim to raise awareness of the suffering of animals for fashion.
"I'm more than willing to talk about it," said Miss McKenzie of the anti-fur business. "I love to tell people, I find it so difficult that people know nothing about it.
"I really like people to see what they're doing before they choose fur, I even heard Julien Macdonald trying to justify fur, by saying it was from rabbits."
Following the show in London the designer said his fur jackets and coats were all rabbit and by-products of the meat industry.
"None of the animals were raised for their fur, so the protest was a bit of a waste of their time," he said.
Miss McKenzie, who is studying for an animal science and welfare degree, to continue her work with animal rights campaign groups, said: "Whatever animal they're using just for fashion, it's not acceptable."